tv [untitled] December 8, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm PST
sort of sick -- circumstance late at night. they will have to call the director and ask. as we go forward, i think those mechanisms that will be in place so everyone is fully cognizant of that will help drive this down some. supervisor campos: one of the things that has been raised in the past two over -- to explain over time is some of the staffing issues the agency has had. is there a plan for addressing the shortages? >> most definitely. quite appropriately the largest part of this agency is muni. some of the critical components were cut out. as we look at car cleaners and talk about the graffiti and
other front-line personnel, that has been a priority for the agency as we go forward to make sure we have those types of provisions in the budget going forward for the two-year process. that is key to making sure we can drive down the overtime. case in point, i was at another division and week graduated a first-class street inspectors, and the first class that we had. as i stand before you right now, we are graduating another class of operators. we have made strides in going forward, but when we look at the attrition rate as it relates to operators, because this is a progressive process, when we gain street inspectors, they're coming from the ranks of the operators. we are robbing peter to pay paul, assuring that up by having the training class is and resources in place by where we are budgeting more efficiently to the needs for our front-line personnel.
supervisor compos: one of the things that we also here is sort of the management of capital projects, and one of the things i want to provide context, we had a hearing presentation at the transportation authority where we heard the results of the performance of it in terms of how the mta is managing capital projects. as you know, looking at some of the major projects, a number of the key projects that the mta is managing, those projects were delayed on average by more than 500 days. you were above budget in terms of the original budget amount for the key capital projects by $80 million. if you look at over time, the $21 million that you went above the budgeted amount last fiscal
year, president chiu talk about something like funding free muni for youth, you could find that more than two times over. these are pretty significant savings. wendy you think we as a committee can have a follow-up conversation with you to see how you are actually doing in terms of the effectiveness of your plan? >> i would say contingent upon what i outlined, i would want to ensure we have data for the least a quarter to show you to see if there is trend data, so i would say the march-april timeframe if we're looking to go forward in january. president chiu: first of all, i want to thank supervisor compasompos, for his comments, s
feels like groundhog day. the mta continues to be the biggest culprit when it comes to overtime. we have passed different pieces of legislation to try to curb overtime, but from our standpoint it has been virtually impossible to manage the situation sideways, so i have a couple higher-level questions. i know you have implemented a lot of things that you hope to implement overtime. first question, why wasn't this implemented before? >> that is a very good question. this is my opinion, i believe there were strides taken, but we were much more concerned with putting service on the streets and in sharing when people went somewhere, they had a way to get back. there was nothing written, so often times you would hear i was not aware i needed to check in with x before doing y, and i know that does not lead the
answer your question, but i would just be speculating for past leadership for why it was not done. president chiu: past leadership definitely do the concerns of the board, but nothing was really addressed. you believe it might be possible for the next year to bring overtime cost down by 10%-15%? >> yes, i do. president chiu: how much? >> anywhere from 5 million-10 million. president chiu: how do you come up with that number? >> looking at what we are projecting for the end of the year, keep in mind the various mechanisms that we are putting in place to shore this up and the due diligence and the cooperation of those within the organization, and keep in mind some of the projects we have to
help us with the vehicle and staffing plans, i do think that is attainable because we will not be spending as much. especially looking at the part- time operators. i think that is where we are going in reference to putting forward the numbers that i just cited. president chiu: my question is, it is their math involved? why couldn't it be a larger number? >> i think it's having it be a larger number, that would be a goal greatly out of our reach. our overtime is very fast at this point. while we could say we could strive to do 30 percent signed in reference to shoring this up and considering the high hearing will take place in phases, i do not think there is any chance we could get there, so it is more putting forward an
attainable goal. that is more or less the overall basis for how we striving -- were striving. president chiu: i appreciate that. and i appreciate that you represent the face of the agency, but from my perspective i think i want to understand how these goals are determined and how we did at a number that will be real, and hopefully quite substantial. the last question i have is than the private sector in overtime costs continue to be as high as they are, someone would be held accountable and not have their job at this point. who is responsible for managing over time? is there a person? you talk about the fact that everyone is responsible for curbing overtime. i have seen no one is responsible.
>> is there a single point of contact for overtime? i would say no in the sense that when you look at our agency, we still have muni budget that used to be department of traffic and so forth. what we're trying to do is put that in one place. i will say that my team and i have been responsible for putting that in place. when i look at it from an administrative point of view, it seems obtainable, but we're looking at the need of delivering service. i would say the division directors, with support from his direct reports. president chiu: how many people are we talking about? >> the director reskin and five of his division directors. president chiu: again, we tried
to figure out who is responsible and it has always been extremely elusive. i appreciate the situation. i would like to be able to say to the director in six months, where has the number gone down and for someone to say we haven't been working on this, we are responsible in the debris of failed or have not failed. i almost feel like we're wasting our time at times by having these hearings, because we're not seeing results. i certainly hope with the new administration that that will change. supervisor compos: thank you. let me put it this way, every time we raise the issue over time we seek -- we hear a lot of different explanations. this is not directed at you. we know you are trying to address this issue. there are many reasons why overtime is what it is.
we know operators conduct for half of overtime being spent, but at the end of the day m uni's manage it is 100% accountable for the overtime. the more i think about where muni is, whether it is the handling of overtime, the mta handling of work orders, whether it is the way they manage capital projects, i think that the three -- single biggest challenge the mta is facing is not a challenge of lack of funding, but a challenge of mismanagement. that is what i think, and that is not about the current administration, but if you look at why we're here, it is because there has been an effective
insufficient management. i think unless we do something about that, these issues will remain issues. i am grateful to mr. reskin, because i know he believes in good management has a track record of having best practices being followed, so i think that is the single biggest challenge that muni has, and this is not something that we on the board of supervisors, whether it is this committee or other committees that have looked at these issues and are happy with. it is not fun to sit here and have groundhog day. we keep talking about these issues, and yet nothing has been done. we have a lot of hope and faith in mr. reskin that he will
address this crisis of management that we see, and i think we have an obligation to continue to monitor this any -- to monitor this and provide results to the public. i am not sure if 10%-50% is the right goal. i think it should be as high as we can possibly get it to go. i do not know if it is realistic, but i think you have a responsibility on the part of this committee to make sure we keep an eye on this, so we will come back to this item. we will not forget about this item. if you save $5 million, that is $5 billion that could be used to increase services to our writeriders, to restore some ofe cuts that were made in the prior-year years, to fund programs like free muni for you and other initiatives we should be funding. it is a real challenge.
if you look at the combination of the savings you can have an overtime and work orders and the way the capital projects are being managed, you were talking about millions and millions of dollars that could improve the service to our riders. that is very significant. with that, why don't we open it up to public comment -- president chiu: i am curious about the management structure within the mta. when i continue to hear is there are numerous levels of barack receipts that make it difficult for you as senior management to get things down the chain. -- bureaucracy that makes it difficult for you as senior management to get things down the change. you think that is an issue in managing over time? >> yes, i do, in the sense of having a global understanding,
because oftentimes the communication can be better. i will freeze it in those terms. as i indicated before, i think collectively with the senior leadership team we can work and forge ahead. i am very confident. i do think one of the barriers before was communication and red tape and bureaucracy at its finest. president chiu: red tape and bureaucracy at its finest is what we are that in government, and that is what we need to change. we need to reverse the downward spiral that we'll recognize mta performance has been, and i do not think we should tolerate red tape and bureaucracy as it continues. thank you for the honest perspective, and look forward to the conversation. supervisor campos: thank you. we can now open it up to public
comment. i know we have at least one speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is dana minute cough, im representing a grass-roots organization. -- dana minicough. we have been talking for a long about the time of being over budgeted, and it is a problem. san francisco organizing project supports bringing down muni overtime costs in order to save money and make it more efficient. as a personal rider, i am interested in making it as efficient as possible. muni -- the mta needs to
negotiate with unions over implementing the provisions and hiring part-time workers without using so much of its overtime. sfop is part of the coalition that is working to provide free muni access, reducing overtime costs as necessary >> supervisors, i am here with power. i also really appreciate the leadership you will have taken on this issue, and in particular because of your perspective as supervisors that really support the interest of workers. what i think is really important about the conversation and the way we are approaching it, it is really encouraging the mta to work closely with twu local 250. what we think about the drivers
union, it is the largest african-american union in the city. a lot of homeowners were often muni drivers. muni as a range of the economy is really important. at the same time, we really support this initiative. that we need to curb the expenditures. it is a huge opportunity creating part-time jobs. we can be creating job opportunities for folks. in this economy, it is really helpful. it meets the demand of greater efficiency and helps expand the strength of the union. we really encourage that there be collaboration moving forward. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you very much. is there any member of the public that would like to speak on this item? seeing none, public comment is closed. i want to thank the mta for their presentation and for their
honest assessment. i think that it is one of the things that is quite refreshing and welcoming when it comes to director reskin. he has not been afraid to the knowledge where there is need for improvement and recognizes that the only way you will improve as if you recognize that you have problems that you can do better. it is important what we said in public comment, the issue of overtime, from my perspective, is more of a management issue. it requires that we were collectively not only within management but with labor partners. the workers will be there, they will do the work that they are asked to do. it is a question of how that work is allocated and how that money is managed. i know that twu has been a good partner and will continue to be a good partner. we will look forward to the collaboration.
it is a resolution before the committee. i wonder if we could have a motion to move forward with recommendations and we will introduce a hearing in the future so we can come back to this item in the very near future to see how muni is performing. motion, without objection. if we can take a short break, we will be right back. supervisor campos: we're back. madam car, can you call item no. 4? >> hearing on the budget and legislative analyst's performance audits. supervisor campos: great, thank you. if we can call upon the office of the budget and legislative analyst for the presentation.
thank you for your patience and waiting. >> good afternoon, chair campos and president chiu. we have a very brief presentation. it has been a long morning, so we will go over the highlights of the audit and we will be available for questions and responses that you would like from us. i want to introduce the audit team. harrison and smith, they're representatives. we selected this topic -- it was approved by the motion of the board. the consultation of the comptroller's office in the office of human resources. some of the issues -- the audit supports the concept that workers should be compensated
for taking on special duties. the audit is not questioning if these types of pay are appropriate. the audit did not look at the rate to see if it was appropriate. we specifically looked at how the department's implemented be paid. -- the pay. there was supervisory differentials -- presentation. and we looked at the departments that had the highest use of the pay as well as doing a survey of the city departments. our recommendations, we estimated would save $1.4 million annually. the board approved $300,000 of those savings during this year's budget review. there are 33 different mlu's covering these types of pay. it covers 52 different departments, not surprising that
there are a lot of inconsistencies and imipractices -- impractices in application implementation. lead worker pay is when a worker gets compensated for supporting a supervisor. there is a large geographic area for other reasons. if you look at the cost, $3 million annually. the public health has the largest cost. a lot of this is for nurse pay. the lead pay provisions and mlu's the charge nurse provision must specifically defines the responsibilities. the other departments are mta, public works -- they account for most of the costs city-wide.
the city does not have policies for how the lead worker is applied. the mlu's are not specific enough to serve as guidelines on how to implement the pay category. other than the charge, the second highest category is for the -- it is $1.3 million annually. the with the language in the mlu's state it, you get lead worker pay retailing, estimating, ordering materials. or you take the lead over another employee. how this gets interpreted, it varies by department. some department, any time there are two workers in the same classification, even if they are not necessarily performing in a specific duty, -- any specific
duty, we saw this and several provisionin several provisions,s inconsistent. on the other hand, her redesigning, sketching, etc. even if there was no lead responsibility for one employee, they would get the lead pay. they were not supervising anybody, but they were given lead for assigning these duties. the same language was often in the job description so it looked more like core responsibilities of the position. so just generally, departments did not consistently have good definitions of what the responsibilities would be, how it should be assigned.
these findings, recommendations were about $450,000 annually in savings and the board has approved $300,000 of the $450,000. stand by pay is a larger cost to the city. the definition we have here is the one the department of human resources used, paid to employees when they are off duty and expected to respond to emergency incidents and be available for immediate emergency service. this is not how it is used in most instances in the city. stand by pay costs are $10 million in city wide. police had the highest costs for court procedures. these costs have come down by more than $1 million in the last several years. there have been mlu changes and scheduling changes. the cost to have come down somewhat, but the cost is still
$10 million in city wide. -- the costs have come down somewhat, but the cost is still $10 million city-wide. we found a standby was really hard to define -- in an emergency. during the course of the audit, they said this was not appropriate and eliminated stand by for this group. we found others, the local 21 mlu says specifically i.t. staff can be assigned stand by for communications and i.t. system.s you ds. uv i.t. stand by. -- you do need i.t. stand by. we got information on what some
of the calls were for, fixing a blackberry -- of the things that did not need to happen during off-hours. president chiu: how does that work? >> of lot of that is done remotely. [inaudible] >> different departments handled it differently. there are desk staff on an ardent of schedule and take the calls. -- on an alternative schedule and take the calls. stand by is provided to anyone answering questions at that time including help desk employees and senior engineers. they are able to fix many of these incrementally. the standby pay is for non-work hours. 168 hours a week, a 40-hour
employee would get 128 hours of standby. president chiu: wow. thank you. >> there were engineers making more than $30,000 a year just in standby pay. >> oh, i'll go back. >> one of the of the things is the type of classification departments that tried and manage the stand by because of budget reductions. we found that it was assigned in cases where it really wasn't needed. we looked at call-in, they never had been called in. there were questions where the city distribution division assigned two standby crews. we got maybe one standby crew
was sufficient. there are two types of standby. you can get 10% of your pay if you carry cellphone and a pager or 25% if you stand by your land line. most people don't stand by their land line. there was a group paid 25% because they were not given pagers and cell phones. president chiu: this is the department of technology? supervisor campos: you can't make this up. >> the other was the issue of high paid people on standby. there was confusion about the role of managers vs. the stand by staff. there were i.t. people making more than $30,000 a year, other categories of that. if you have standby for emergency services, you need emergency services, you need someone to be the nuts and